If you were lucky and your parents weren't complete schmucks, you got read to as a child. I loved being read to. I remember begging my mother for just one more chapter, just one more story. Somewhere between childhood and high school I caught an episode of Dawson's Creek. I never followed the show, but in this one episode two of the main characters were relaxing on a boat. They were unwinding by reading aloud to each other. I remember thinking, "Sweet, I can get read to as an adult." I figured that if I could make it through the awkward years between childhood and adulthood I would once again get to engage in one of my favorite pastimes.
In college I majored in English Literature and I thought the time had finally come when I could kick back and let someone else do the hard work while my imagination had all the fun. I was doomed to disappointment. Occasionally a professor would read a poem, but only rarely. The closest I got was in a novel class taught by a man who had an unhealthy interest in Herman Melville. He would read aloud those passages that make it next to impossible to read Moby Dick. We also got treated to energetic readings of passages from Germinal and Anna Karenina. Not exactly what I had in mind. Although it might be something to keep in mind when trying to put small children to sleep.
Don't get me wrong, it's not like not getting read aloud to was something that was keeping me up at night. It was just added to the list of adulthood disappointments. Recently I've had to amend that list.
It turns out that NPI, National Public radio International, and the New Yorker both have podcasts dedicated to reading short stories written by adults, intended for adults, read aloud by adults, and presumably downloaded by adults! Leonard Nimoy has read for them! Spock read me a story about a cantankerous old man! Spock! This discovery has been an unexpected, and greatly appreciated little joy.
Recently I've been trying to focus more on the little joys of life that brighten my day. It's healthier than focusing on the downer, depressing parts of life. So here's to the little things. Have a good Tuesday and go download a short story.